The IT Director's Guide for a Happy New Year

Bill Onion

End of the Year To-Do BlogStay prepared for the new year with this list of maintenance to-dos 

After a year that frankly no one could have predicted, 2021 will soon be upon us. And as you get ready to move in to a hopefully brighter and better new year , here’s a quick end-of-the-year checklist to make sure you and your business can ring in the new year with no regrets! 

Perform A Business Process Review

Start by asking yourself, is everything you're doing working? What isn't working and how can it be fixed?

Whether you sit down with your management team, your on-the-ground employees, or do a deep dive in to your back-end development, it’s always good to analyze current processes and make sure there is no unnecessary happenings. With a business process review you may discover an existing process that is causing more harm and headache than actual benefit. Or, you may find a gap in a process and identify an opportunity to increase system efficiency.  

A Business Process Review allows you to take a step back and ask yourself, "is this working for us a company"? By taking a moment to analyze your current workflows, you can stay in tune with your company or department, and identify goals for the new year, challenges to take on, and better prepare yourself overall for any new projects you hope to tackle in 2021.  

Set Attainable, Achievable Goals

One of the greatest things about the new year is the hopefulness of its tabula rasa. When outlining what you plan to accomplishit’s important to set attainable, achievable goals and be sure to be specific.  

Take revenue, for example. Instead of having a general goal of increasing revenue, identify a specific sector to focus on. Perhaps you want to increase revenue in the B2B sector. Or maybe you want to ramp up your outbound marketing in order to find more leads and convert them into customers. By highlighting specific goals and the subsequent steps that will need to be taken, you are increasing your likelihood of achieving your goal.  

Let’s take a B2C retail company whose goal is to increase web sales by a specific percentage. The first step is identifying the challenge – perhaps they have no existing eCom site, or maybe their current site is slow, outdated, and not very user friendly. Knowing that their goal is to specifically increase web sales, the first step may be to create or update their eCommerce website. Making updates to the front-end of their site like user interface and user experience, as well as the back-end needs like integrating WMS and EDI, will help improve your customer satisfaction which will likely increase repeat customers, increasing customer traffic, which ultimately will lead to an increase in online sales.  

Be sure that whatever your goals are, you know and understand each department that will be affected, and what improvements each area will need in order to achieve your ultimate goal.

Make Sure Your Security Is In Check

An annual security assessment is always a good idea, but with so many employees moving remote, essentially overnight, double checking your current security status this year is more important than ever. Are your RDP endpoints secure, as many of your employees are likely remotely accessing company systems and servers? Are you up to date with your data backups and logs? Do you have a virtual desktop infrastructure in place?  

The end of the year is also a great time to have a mandatory password change and instituting two-factor authorizationAfter all, nothing says happy holidays like forcing your employees to create a new password that they won’t be able to remember when they get back from their holiday vacations

Tackle those 2020 to-do checkboxes one more time and then join us as we sing Auld Lang Syne at the stroke of midnight.  Happy holidays and cheers to 2021!  

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